Reply to post: Re: No way ready!

Oi, Elon: You Musk sort out your Autopilot! Tesla loyalists tell of code crashes, near-misses

Lee D Silver badge

Re: No way ready!

Computers are singularly unable to infer.

We know why there's a shadow on the ground coming from between those parked cars in that lit street... we know that's there's a school on the right and the kids are playing football against the very fence that we're driving past... we know that the pillock in front is driving contrary to all road laws and that means we have to be much more careful interpreting the situation around him... we know that the thing that moved out from between the parked cars might just be a child, or it might be a paper bag that would look solid but not actually be so... we can infer that the blue-lights around the corner ahead mean we should approach with more caution than normal... we know that though we *could* make that gap, it's probably not safe or sensible to do so because it relies on everyone else continuing to drive exactly as they are, yet they are human too.

Computers cannot infer. They react only. Have you ever been in a car that is driven by someone purely on reaction? We're not talking rally drivers (they are scary enough, but because they are reading the situation and taking calculated risks that we wouldn't), but people who literally have no sense of the road and just drive based on what's six-inches off their bonnet? It's terrifying, no matter how skilled a driver you think you are personally, the one thing that will make me get out your car is that you're only *reacting* to what happens to you, not *predicting* or *infering* or *adjusting* to the scenario.

That's what the cars are doing. Reacting. They have no way to infer even the basic properties of the objects around them (e.g. the paper bag scenario... there is no sensor on a Tesla that can distinguish between a paper bag and a rock... so does it swerve to avoid the paper bag, or does it drive straight into the rock?). They certainly can't infer anything about the wider situation. That makes them dangerous. More so in that, in ideal conditions, they operate fine and gain the user's confidence. Nobody cares about that. Ideal-condition driving is both pleasant and fun, personally. That's the bit I don't *want* the car doing. But it's not capable of the bit I don't want to have to do at all... adjust to a rapidly-changing scenario or infer the intentions of other drivers, or even infer the properties of the road ahead.

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